A West Virginian Wedding

The Bride
The mother of the bride and my sister
Bridal Party
Working the dance floor

So I’ve been traveling for the past 2.5 weeks. My trip started domestically in Beckley, West Virginia for my niece’s wedding. The yellow and blue themed wedding (Go Mountaineers!) was a blast and I got to hang out with my family for a few days before heading to the South of France for vacation and then onto Luxembourg for some tourism, food, and interviews. More on the international travel in the next blog post!

Flying to Beckley from Boston is not an easy task. You must take a commercial flight to Charlotte, NC then a small company called VIA Air will transport you to the one runway airport in the small town that has about 5 employees (TSA agent, ticket agent, flight attendant, pilot, and baggage carrier). Honestly.

My dad had driven down so he was able to pick up me and my sister’s longtime friend, who had also flown in from Boston with me. We stayed at a reasonable Courtyard a few miles down the road and started the evening out with a few beers at my niece’s favorite town bar called Sir Walter’s Tavern. A cute, lounge below a theater with good craft beers and cheap liquor drinks. Affordable and fun and her friendship with the bartender allowed us to have control of the music.

The next day was the rehearsal and dinner with the family and bridal party. Don’t worry, I got a quick workout in at the hotel before. Luckily, my groomsman was taller than me (good for pics) but kind enough to slow down his steps so I could keep up down the aisle. Now, there were 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen in a small church that had stairs at the podium. We actually had to practice 2 placements during the rehearsal, which meant my fear of high heels and these stairs were soon to meet. I being the stronger and more able-bodied human, defeated the stairs without falling. Twice. This improved my confidence to master heels on stairs for the real thing to come the next day. Dinner was at a lovely small Italian restaurant that I can’t remember the name but had good enough red wine to help me fall asleep easily for a 5am wake up call to get hair done the next day.

Morning of the wedding required 8 women to get up-do’s, mimosas and delicious pastries to hold us over until the reception. The photographer came to do some getting ready shots and the bride, maid of honor and mother of the bride were off to the church. The rest of us were on our own. Never to fear, dad was near!

The wedding ceremony was short and sweet with the beautiful Ellie Goulding song “How Long Will I Love You” to bring the bride and father of the bride down the aisle to bring a happy, tearful moment to watch. The groom was dapper and had only eyes on his princess bride. It was a proud moment to be a part of. Then…the unity candle not lighting brought about some comedic relief to break the happy tears. My niece being on TV as a meteorologist, quick to react to improv, took one of the combining candles and blew it out, leaving a single candle to continue to burn to symbolize their love. And then there was the ring “the circle”, it’s a circle because it is not a triangle. A kiss, more pictures, a hungry and thirsty bridal party, and we were off to the Tamarack to party.

A buffet Italian styled dinner, a keg, some nips in purses and free soft drinks from the bar, a 90’s themed DJ and rocking afterparty back at Sir Walter’s until midnight concluded the happy day.

The new married couple was off to a Caribbean Cruise the next morning at 6am and the rest of us had a day to relax and recover. A college friend of the bride brought my dad and me on a hiking tour of the New River Gorge Bridge with a majestic view of the Gorge. A good 4-mile hike to sweat out some of the partying that had occurred the past few days. Then Pies and Pints for Traveler Grapefruit Shandy and Siracha Pizza concluded my domestic vacay. I’m truly feeling the effects of 2.5 weeks of diet and eating not-so-well as well as a brief disruption of my regular fitness routine, which was still muddled on my next trip internationally but with fewer restrictions of having to do something every single day, I was able to modify back to a healthier routine. Next Blog!

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